A shocking new study has found that patients who have prostate cancer are more likely to die from something else instead of cancer itself.

According to researchers at Vanderbilt University, cardiovascular disease is actually a bigger threat to patients than cancer. Recent studies support the danger that prostate cancer survivors have from dying from heart disease. Scientists believe that prostate cancer treatment may be increasing the risk of cardiovascular disease in patients.

Photo: Tetra Images/Alamy
Photo: Tetra Images/Alamy

Cardiovascular diseases are the leading cause of death in men, in the United States. So, it’s important to know if the risk factor for men to develop the disease is actually increasing. Cancer prostate treatments like the androgen deprivation therapy (ADT) make the patient more likely to develop a cardiovascular disease, according to scientists at Vanderbilt University.

The ADT reduces serum testosterone levels, which can make prostate cancers reduce in size. Although there’s a link between ADT and harmful cardiovascular effects, as reported by the American Heart Association in a statement released in 2010. While doctors try to treat one condition, other parts of the body may be affected in the patient, said lead author of the study Dr. Alicia Morgans.

Using several indicators in prostate cancer survivors in order to determine their risk of developing a heart disease was the focus of the study. Researchers looked at the participants’ blood pressure, diet, physical activity, and diabetes, among many other relevant factors. The findings made by Vanderbilt researchers were published in the medical journal Circulation.

“While ADT therapy is of great benefit to many patients with prostate cancer, it may also increase the risk of developing diabetes or having a heart attack or stroke,” said Dr. Eric Shinohara, medical director of the Vanderbilt Radiation Oncology Clinic.

The odds of a prostate cancer survivor to die from cardiovascular events can be reduced if the patients detect the mentioned indicators early. A program to train cancer survivors focused on lowering their risk of dying is being developed by the National Comprehensive Cancer Network.

The therapy used to treat prostate cancer may increase the risk of developing other dangerous conditions, explained co-author of the study Dr. Eric Shinohara. The consequences of which may result in risky conditions including type 2 diabetes, heart attack and strokes. As a result, Vanderbilt’s Cardio-oncology program is focused on modulating the risk factors of cardiovascular diseases in men, mainly those getting the androgen deprivation therapy (ADT).

In the United States alone, more than 220,000 men learn they have prostate cancer every year. Prostate cancer is the second most common form of cancer in men, after skin cancer. However, Dr. Shinohara believes the prostate cancer survivor’s mortality risk can be lowered thanks to collaborative efforts between cardiologists, urologists and cancer experts.

Source: Medical Xpress